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Exploring La Cueva del Indio in Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Exploring La Cueva del Indio in Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Want to visit Cueva del Indio in Arecibo? Here’s what you need to know.

La Cueva del Indio is one of over 2,000 caves on the island of Puerto Rico, and one of the most famous. .

Perched on a strip of cliffs overlooking turquoise blue waters in Arecibo, this is a stunning and untouched location offering pristine views. 

If you’re visiting Puerto Rico, you can access this location on a day trip from San Juan. 

Here’s how!


About Cueva del Indio

Smiling petroglyph carved on rock wall

Cueva del Indio is a natural limestone cave that originally served as a meeting place for Taino indians, the indigenous people of Puerto Rico prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493.

Today, the walls still hold their drawings, which look to me like early emojis.

In fact, La Cueva del Indio has the largest collection of petroglyphs along the coastline and is a lure to tourists and vandals alike.

While it’s sad to see ancient carvings spoiled by modern key scratches, the island attempts to preserve the area as much as possible.

The site is public and not run or maintained by any official organization or agency.

The owners of the parking lot adjacent to the beach have set up a makeshift entrance and charge $10 a car to park.

Note, the parking lot owners only accept cash and the nearest ATM is a 15-minute drive from the caves.

How to get to La Cueva del Indio

Blue water and rock cliffs from above

Getting to the caves is easy and can be done on your own without a tour or group. It’s best if you have a rental car.

Just plug the destination into your GPS (Americans will be happy to know there is no need to use roaming or international data plans in Puerto Rico) and follow the directions.

In case you need it, the exact geo-coordinates are 18°29’34.1″N 66°38’31.4″W.

It’s about an hour and 15 minutes from either San Juan or Aguadilla so you can access it from both coasts and either airport.


Cliff jumping

Cueva del Indio rock formation

Since La Cueva del Indio is largely unregulated, the rocks can be perilous.

There are no guard rails and you descend into the cave on a wooden ladder, so wear the appropriate shoes and tread carefully.

The tide is unpredictable in the area and while some daredevils dive off the cliffs, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it as there are rocks in the water. This is a good place for exploring and sunbathing, not necessarily swimming.

The natural rock formations are unlike any other on the island, and provide ample photo opportunities.

Note, as of late 2018, the ladder to descend into the cave has been removed but guests can still enter via an opening at the top.

You do so at your own risk and will need some sort of rock climbing ability. Ask the folks at the entrance for more information.


Is Cueva del Indio worth the trip?

Woman standing in front of petroglyphs on wall

Whether you’re a fan of geology, native culture or off the beaten path destinations, Cueva del Indio should be on your list of must-see destinations while in Puerto Rico.

It makes an east day trip from San Juan and allows you to see a different side of the island than just the cruise port.

Go ahead, have an adventure!

Till next time, safe travels.


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Friday 22nd of July 2022

I was just there. They are now charging 10 dollars per person and give you a ticket stub for entry. They do not say it's for parking. The stub itself said Division of Recreation.

They have taken over ownership of this public recreational park.


Saturday 23rd of February 2019

The wooden ladder is not there no more so you can not go down please update this add so peaple won’t be disappointed like me

Jen on a Jet Plane

Sunday 24th of February 2019

I'm sorry to hear that Carmen! Did anyone say if it was temporary or the reason for it? I'll be back in a month and wanted to explore but will update in the meantime, thanks for the heads up!

Rebecca Lopez

Friday 28th of September 2018

It was an incredible experience. Beautiful and so rich in history and culture. I really do wish an organization would be formed to preserve it and teach our history to those interested. It’s such an important part of Our story. Worth the trip. Especially if you’re brave enough to climb down. Breathtaking inside.

May Larios

Sunday 13th of August 2017

We still haven't been to the caves. There's so much to do here in Puerto Rico! But I'm particularly excited about Vieques. See you there in a few days! :D


Monday 24th of July 2017

This looks really cool. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.